Who is Michael Tell? All About Patty Duke's Ex-husband (2024)

Michael Tell is the ex-husband of Patty Duke, an American actress. Michael Tell works in the show biz industry as a rock music promoter, writer, and publisher.

Tell and Duke’s union made the news in 1970 because of the brevity of their marriage. The couple were barely two weeks into their union before they decided to call it quits and went for an annulment. Their union birthed one son, Sean Astin.

Summary of Michael Tell’s Biography

  • Full Name: Michael Tell
  • Nickname: Mike
  • Gender: Male
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Nationality: American
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Marital Status: Divorced
  • Michael Tell’s Ex-Wife: Patty Duke
  • Michael Tell’s Children: Sean Astin
  • Michael Tell’s Height in Inches: 5 feet 10 inches
  • Michael Tell’s Height in Centimetres: 178 cm
  • Michael Tell’s Weight: 70 kg
  • Michael Tell’s Net Worth: $1 million
  • Famous For: Being the ex-husband of Patty Duke

Michael Tell was Born Either in the 40s and 50s

Since his sudden emergence into the limelight after marrying an actress of Patty Duke’s caliber, Michael Tell has done a good job of keeping the details of his early life and family background as far away from public scrutiny as possible. Thus, his birth details have remained under the shed to date. The media sources can only guess at his age with the available tidbits of information.

In the past, speculations were claiming he was born sometime in the 1950s. Besides, when he married and divorced Duke in 1970, Michael was said to be 25 to Duke’s 23, which points to the fact that the duo only have a two-year age gap between them. Now, considering the fact that Patty Duke was born on the 14th of December 1946, it means that Mike may have been born sometime in 1949, preferably within the early months of the year.

In the same vein, the rock music promoter has declined to mention the names of his parents in the public space. Thus, no one knows their names and professions. Also, it is not known whether he was raised as an only child or has siblings.

The only sure information about Tell is that the former celebrity spouse was born in the United States. However, his exact place of birth has never been captured. Mike reportedly grew up in his place of birth. Obviously of American nationality, he is said to come from mixed roots of Polish and Australian, making him a White by ethnic background.

Another aspect of Michael Tell’s life that needs some elucidation is his academic journey. We know that he graduated from high school, and that was when his interest in Rock music started developing. However, there is no indication that he went for further studies.

How Michael Tell and Patty Duke Met for the First Time

If what was read from Patty’s 1987 autobiography, “Call Me Anna,” is anything to go by, then Michael Tell met Patty in June 1970. According to what the American actress wrote in her memoir, she was on her way out of her apartment at Sierra Towers when she heard Tell talking to a switchboard operator about the possibility of subletting an apartment in the vicinity.

On overhearing the discussion, Duke made it a point to approach Michael with an offer. After Mike was convinced, he requested to see the place, and Duke obliged. After he saw the place and was satisfied with it, Mike was informed by Duke that she intended to leave town for the ensuing two months, which made the arrangement perfect for Mike.

However, while Patty was out of town, she made it a point of duty to call and get acquainted with Mike. At the initial stage of their relationship, everything was just platonic, and the American actress appeared to be satisfied with the way things were turning out. However, they started to know each other, and as time rolled by, Michael Tell started having feelings for Patty. It goes without saying that the actress later reciprocated his feelings, but it didn’t turn out right.

Michael Tell and Patty Duke Exchanged Wedding Vows Three Weeks After They Met

Who is Michael Tell? All About Patty Duke's Ex-husband (1)

After Michael moved into Patty’s apartment in the early part of June 1970, the duo barely cohabited for three weeks before they embarked on what has been described as “a crazy marriage”.

The duo was in Las Vegas on the 24th of June 1970 when they presented themselves at the Little Church of the West, where they went on to exchange wedding vows. Nothing was normal at their wedding, and even the rings used in joining them together were borrowed.

It later came to the fore that the multi-award winning supers star was battling what was described as a manic phase of her bipolar disorder, though the condition wasn’t diagnosed till 12 years later in 1982. Again, another reason for their hasty marriage was attributed to Patty’s discovery that she was expecting a baby, and in a bid to give her son a name, she consented to the wedding.

How Long Was Michael Tell Patty Duke’s Husband?

After exchanging wedding vows on the 24th of June 1970, the couple lived together as man and wife till the 9th of July 1970, which means their union only lasted for 15 days before they went their separate ways.

Talking about what led to the couple’s split, it was reported that Michael Tell was doubting whether he was truly the father of Patty’s unborn child. As the argument got heated, Duke opted to seek advice from one of her friends, and it was at that point that she noted that their marriage was nothing short of insane. With this realization, she asked her husband of 15 days to leave her apartment, and that marked the end of their union.

According to the celebrated American actress and producer, she didn’t set eyes on Michael again after ordering him to leave her apartment. Also, she never heard from the rock music promoter until her demise.

It is important to note that many fans of the popular movie and television actress doubted whether their marriage actually took place because of its brevity. To date, some people still believe the duo just lived together for a short while before calling it quits with their relationship.

What Does Michael Tell Do for a Living?

Michael Tell took his childhood love for rock music and converted it into a passion that birthed his career path. Without a good singing voice, the rock enthusiast decided to launch his profession behind the scenes by promoting the rock genre of music.

While still a high school student, Mike started promoting rock music and worked with a good number of artists after his high school graduation. His stint as a music executive went on to last for three long decades before he took the conscious decision to retire in 2010.

Away from the music scene, Michael Tell reportedly dabbles in other fields. He is listed as a writer and publisher, though the details of this aspect of his professional life are unknown.

Did Michael Tell Remarry After he got Divorced from Patty Duke?

To date, it is not known whether Michael Tell bothered to get married again after his marriage to Patty Duke was annulled in 1970.

Recall that the rock music promoter has always been the type that does not court the limelight, and this has made it impossible to find out what he is doing with his life post-divorce. Even what he did before tying the nuptial with Duke is not known.

His name only caught public attention after he became the husband of an actress of Patty’s caliber, and he wasted no time in getting back to obscurity following the end of their union.

In addition, the fact that Michael Tell doesn’t appear to have any social media presence is another reason his personal life has remained a mystery to date.

However, the story is totally different for his celebrity ex-wife, Patty, who went through four marriages and three divorces. Her first husband was movie director Harry Falk, with whom she tied the nuptials in 1965. Reportedly, Harry was 13 years older than Patty, and their union lasted for only four years before it came to an end in 1969. Duke’s first marriage was followed by her short-lived union with Tell.

Patty’s third husband was movie and TV actor John Astin, whom she wedded in 1972, and their union birthed a son, Mackenzie Astin (he is also an actor) in 1973. This time around, Patty lasted 13 years in her marriage before they called it quits in 1985.

Patty’s fourth marriage was to Michael Pearce – a drill sergeant whom she married in 1986. Though they share no biological child, the duo adopted one son, Kevin (born in 1988). Duke’s marriage with Pearce lasted until she died in 2016.

Is Michael the Father of Patty’s Son Sean?

The identity of the real father of Patty Duke’s first son has always been a subject of debate. Besides, the celebrated actress complicated things so much that it remained a puzzle that was only solved with a DNA test.

Sean Astin arrived on the 25th of February 1971, which was less than one year after her divorce from Michael Tell. Thus, it was easy for many fans to consider Tell as his biological father.

However, the complications started arising when it became glaring that Patty went on to have romantic relationships with other men at the time she was still with Tell, and when you consider the fact that their union lasted barely two weeks, things get a bit more complicated.

In her answer to the question of Sean’s real father’s identity, the American actress said it was John Astin, her third husband. According to Patty, John was still legally bound to his ex-wife, Suzanne Hahn, when she conceived Sean, and they had to take the decision to keep things under wraps. Thus, when John was finally free from all matrimonial obligations to Hahn, they tied the knot in 1972 and could tell the whole world that he fathered Sean.

When Sean clocked 14, his mum revealed to the then-teen that his real father was actually Desi Arnaz Jr. (Desi was already a father of two to Haley Arnaz and Julia Arnaz – all girls). This piece of information made Sean forge a better bond with Desi, believing him to be his biological dad.

However, the final straw that broke the camel’s back happened when Sean clocked 26. The then-young actor ran into one of Michael Tell’s family members, who told him that they had blood ties.

The ensuing confusion was too much for Sean, who decided to call for a DNA test once and for all to establish real facts about his paternity. The actor went on to call his three dads to get ready for the test, and when the results surfaced, it showed that Michael Tell had been his real dad all along.

Michael Tell’s Son is an Actor, Producer, and Movie Director

An apple, they say, does not fall far from the tree, and it came as no surprise that Sean Astin followed his mother into the acting world. Today, Patty Duke’s first son is listed as a movie and TV actor, movie producer, and director.

Born in California, precisely in Santa Monica, Sean was raised a Catholic and went to Catholic schools before going on to become a protestant. He also passed through the Crossroads High School for the Arts and the Los Angeles-based Stella Adler Conservatory for his Master’s degree.

He has been featured in a lot of movies and television series, and notable among them are 2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. The actor is also part of The Conners, Perry Mason, Young Rock, NoGoodNick, and more.

Sean Still Takes Actor John Astin As His Father

Despite taking several steps to find out his real origin, Sean still considers John Astin to be his father. According to Sean, it was John who brought him up from childhood and gave him the father figure that every child needs in life.

In his own words, Sean said Tell is his biological father, John is his father, and he has never made any attempt to fault anybody, even Desi, whom he takes as a godfather.

Currently, Sean enjoys a great relationship with his biological dad, Michael Tell. Talking to ABC in 2004, Sean said he was doing just great with all his dads and can call any of them on the phone whenever he feels like.


1. Who is Michael Tell?

Michael Tell is the former husband of actress Patty Duke. The duo got married in June 1970 and lasted barely two weeks before their union came crashing.

2. How Old is Michael Tell?

No one knows exactly how old Michael is. However, he is reportedly a couple of years older than his late wife, who was born in 1946, but this has never been confirmed.

3. Who is Sean Astin’s Biological Father?

Sean Astin’s biological father is Michael Tell; this was revealed after Sean carried out a DNA test with all the men that Patty named as his fathers, and the result revealed it was Tell.

Who is Michael Tell? All About Patty Duke's Ex-husband (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lidia Grady

Last Updated:

Views: 5420

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lidia Grady

Birthday: 1992-01-22

Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

Phone: +29914464387516

Job: Customer Engineer

Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.